By S. Quinn DeJoy and J. Murrer
Nov. 15, 2017: At Wayne Central School District on Lake Ontario, the freezing temperatures, two inches of snow, and lots of frozen mud made for some pretty challenging conditions at the New York State Cross Country Championships.
In the race held last Saturday, juniors Matt and Alex Rizzo ran the first race of the day at 9:00 am and had to navigate the course carefully.
“The conditions on Saturday were some of the worst I had ever seen, as the footprints of people from the day before had solidified into lumps that made you feel like you were running on rocks,” said Matt. “When I saw the course the day before the race, I actually smiled a bit because I knew a lot of people would be discouraged by the conditions. I fully embraced the difficulty of the trails--it made the race a lot more fun and different.”
Despite the poor conditions, the Rizzo brothers fared well. Matt finished second in the Class C race in a time of 17:03.00, and Alex placed fifth in 17:15.00. Matt finished just three seconds ahead of Luke Carmosino, a senior from Irvington High School.
“Halfway through the race, I thought I could make a run for top five,” said Matt. “When I saw that I had a chance to duke it out with Luke Carmosino for second, I went for it. I just had a bit more in the tank in this particular race.”
Both Matt and Alex were invited to compete at the New York Federation Championships this coming Saturday at Bowdoin Park in Wappingers Falls.
L to R: Coach Ian Clark, Matt Rizzo, Alex Rizzo, and Coach Jim Agnello. Photo by Charlotte Rizzo.
By the time the Bronxville varsity girls’ team took the course at states, the snow had melted, but previous races had left the course a muddy mess. The Broncos finished third in the Class C race, scoring 87 points. Syracuse CBA placed first with 62 points, and Newfane placed second with 83.
Junior Natalie Weiner placed first for the Broncos and fifth overall in the Class C race in a time of 21:18. Weiner was also invited to participate at Federations this coming weekend.
Also competing for the Bronco girls were junior Emma Mandanas, who placed 19th (21:30), junior Patty Haggerty, 20th (22:15), junior Lyric Abbott, 23rd (22:19), sophomore Molly Palma, 30th (22:38), freshman Avery Widen, 36th (22:49), and junior Gigi Chrappa, 44th (23:16).
“I thought the girls had a very successful season,” said Coach Jim Mitchell. “They were an inexperienced group when it came to big races, and I hope next year they will be more seasoned.” There were no seniors on the team, so if all goes well, this same group should be back next year to compete in the state championships at Sunken Meadow State Park on Long Island.
L to R: Molly Palma, Avery Widen, Gigi Chrappa, Emma Mandanas, Patty Haggerty, Natalie Weiner, and Lyric Abbott. Photo by Eileen Moscowitz-Palma.
Pictured at top (rotating): L to R, Avery Widen, Gigi Chrappa, and Molly Palma (photo by Eileen Moscowitz-Palma); the boys' Class C race with Matt and Alex Rizzo in Bronco pinstripes (photo by Charlotte Rizzo).